Tuesday, July 7

Calvin and Markov

"I’ve spent the last few days building a random generator internet toy called Calvin and Markov. It generates random new weird variations on Bill Watterson’s classic, wonderful comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes, using a Markov chain process and a few hundred lines of Perl code. It’s a fun, odd machine to just play around with, but if you’re interested in how it works, I’ll detail that below, and include some thoughts on C&H itself and why I built this thing. ... People who know me won’t be surprised that I’m messing around with Markov chains; it’s one of my favorite little intersections of math and linguistic/artistic weirdness, a fairly simple way of analyzing the frequencies of events (like the order in which words appear in a bunch of written text) in order to produce new, novel, semi-coherent output. I’ve built a lot of little Markov-related things over the years. ..."

2011 January: Calvin and Hobbes, 2015 March: Bill Watterson talks: This is why you must read the new ‘Exploring Calvin and Hobbes’ book

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